Purpose: Higher education (HE) institutions create, disseminate, share and exchange knowledge through relationships among people, processes and technologies. Knowledge sharing (KS) in academia enables people within the institute to develop practices which allow them to collect and share what they know. This often leads to actions that improve services and outcomes. Despite the opportunities, this sharing is not without implications as it exposes the knowledge sharer and recipient to a number of vulnerabilities and risks, which hinders the knowledge-sharing process. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopted a constructivist approach, which utilised focus group discussions within three UK universities. These were identified to improve the usefulness and effectiveness of the knowledge-sharing process. Findings: The paper concluded by purporting that by developing an understanding of the risks and opportunities of sharing HE, institutions will continue to grow, regenerate and develop knowledge. The results highlighted the plethora of risks and opportunities resulting from KS. These were further grouped into the political, social and organisational culture. Originality/value: This paper addresses the gap of risks perceptions of KS in HE institutions.